03/04/2011, 00.00
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More than 200 people arrested for protesting against the regime

In Tehran, plainclothes police throw demonstrators in vans, beating them. Arrests and clashes affect other cities as well. Thousands of green wave supporters met on 1 March to protest the arrest of opposition leaders Mousavi and Karroubi.

Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Security forces arrested 200 demonstrators in a number of Iranian cities protesting the house arrest of Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both opponents of Iranian President Ahmadinejad, Human Rights House of Iran reported.

According to the Iranian human rights group, hundreds of plainclothes agents swarmed protesters in Tehran’s Azadi Square, throwing them into the back of black vans before driving them away. Officers continued beating the men and women they arrested as they put them in the vehicles.

Opposition websites reported another 40 people detained in the city of Isfahan, 340 kilometres south of Tehran.

Like their counterpart in the jasmine revolution, young green wave protesters met in the capital on Tuesday to march from Imam Hossein Square to Azadi Square after the leaders of their movement, Mousavi and Karroubi, were placed under illegal house arrest.

In addition to Tehran, demonstrations took place in Shiraz, Esfahan, Mashhad, Karaj, Semnan, Tabriz and Kermanshah. Anti-riot police, special guards, security forces and pro-government plainclothes agents swarmed protesters. Another demonstration is scheduled for 15 March.

In a press conference today, Mousavi’s lawyer Ardeshir Amir-Arjomand said the government continues to deny that it detains the two opposition leaders. This means that it fears the reaction of the people. No one knows where they are being held. Statements from government officials are contradictory.

In two years, the government has failed to crush the green wave, despite arresting the movement’s leaders as well as journalists and the leaders of political parties and student groups.

Street demonstrations are not the only means to protest. Demonstrators have the means to set up local networks to foster civil disobedience, and organise sit-ins and strikes.

However, Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, continues to say that Mideast unrest is inspired by Iran’s 1979 revolution, not by a desire for democracy.

In fact, the authorities refuse to acknowledge that Mousavi and Karroubi are under arrest and that the green wave movement is still capable of organising protests. Claims to the contrary are just propaganda against the regime, they contend.

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